Getting to the End…

One of those days when concentrating is difficult: I have to work around the family, getting a new tent sealed ready for a three day hike, walking the dogs, writing up the short list and winner of a prize, deal with emails and phone calls … and it’s not easy. The simple fact is, as … Continue reading

Writing Lessons 10 – Students And Novelists

This one is for students going to university – either first years or postgraduates – as well as aspiring novelists: keep it simple! I spent two years fairly recently helping students at Exeter University with their communication skills, working for the Royal Literary Fund’s Fellowship Scheme.  It was a great experience, although very daunting. After … Continue reading

Writing Lessons 9

Today I have been working on a new story, and I’ve got to the magical stage of about 90,000 words, which means that I’m on the easier, downhill slopes and almost at the end of the first draft. Perhaps this is a good time to think about how things are going. I’ve already spoken about … Continue reading

Writing Lessons 8

Okay, so what happens when it all goes horribly wrong? You are sitting down, the writing has been a blast, and you have a brilliant first stage written.  It felt great, it reads really well. But now, you have a problem. This was supposed to be a romcom, but it’s gone all black and dangerous. … Continue reading

Writing Lessons 7

It is a very odd thing, that writers will often miss whole weeks of life. When you are writing from a specific point of view, you become so utterly immersed in that person’s life, that you cannot exist in the real world at the same time. Your partner will get used to grumbles and muttered … Continue reading

Writing Lessons 6

So you are sitting at your chosen location, your desk, your kitchen table, your spare bedroom – wherever it may be. You have your pen, pencil, paper pad, laptop or desktop computer, and you have some quiet music playing to tempt you into your best writing mood. You have been thinking about the next scene … Continue reading

Writing Lessons 5

Apologies for a silent Monday, but family life intruded into work life. The next issue that writers often seem to have is the most basic one: which tools to use. There is a belief that there is a magic series of tools to use, just as there is a magic set of instructions for new … Continue reading

Writing Lessons 4

  So far this week I have written about how to get writing. I have suggested ways to invent characters, how to get ideas down and how to set them out. Today I’m going back to first principles for all those of you who don’t have the faintest idea how to start.  The first, absolute … Continue reading

Writing Lessons 3

Right, this is the third piece on my short run of ideas about getting started as a writer. If you haven’t looked, please go and check the first two items from this week. So how did you get on with trying out different scenes to throw your guy into? I’m going to give you some … Continue reading

Writing Lessons 2

This follows on from the post yesterday, so if you haven’t read that, it could be a good idea to take a quick look. Right. Now, hopefully you will have a sheet of paper with a fair description of someone you know, someone you have met, or someone you have made up. The first thing … Continue reading